Poultry in Motion: The Chicken Fight Festival Returns to Elitch Gardens

BY Steph Wilson


Clear your calendars, hire babysitters, or bribe your in-laws because on August 24, the battle lines will be drawn and the air will be heavy with the scent of warfare—and fried chicken.

Chicken Fight Festival, the brainchild of the fiendishly creative minds at DiningOut Events, is strutting back into town. Think of it as the culinary version of WrestleMania but with less spandex and more seasoning.

Last year’s contest was as tense as a turkey on Thanksgiving Eve. Judges summoned from across the city, left their biases at the gate and dove headfirst into a sea of anonymous plates. They embarked on a gastronomic odyssey across three categories: Fried Chicken, Wings, and Cocktails. And oh boy, did they discover some poultry Picassos.

In the land of Fried Chicken, Split Lip Chicken basked in the judges’ adulation while Lake House Kitchen + Tavern wooed the hearts, and stomachs, of the discerning public, taking home first place in the People’s Choice.

Over in Wingville, Stoney’s Bar made the judges weak at the knees, and Spanky’s Roadhouse plucked the public’s vote. Then came the Cocktails—Union Lodge No. 1 mixed up a storm and caught the judges’ attention, while Lake House Kitchen & Tavern, with their elixir-like cocktails, seduced the public for a double victory.

It’s worth a minute to tip our hats to the unsung heroes—those hardy souls who battled in the deep fryer trenches. They were the ones who transformed humble chicken into plates of joy, proving that when it comes to festival food, imagination knows no bounds.

Flick through the photo album of last year’s event, and you’d swear that Elitch Gardens was actually the site of a mass happiness experiment—smiling faces, laughter, and people who’ve discovered their new favorite way to consume a bird.

As we gear up for the cluck-off of the year, the anticipation is as high as a rooster at dawn. Attendees will be treated to an array of chicken delights and a craft cocktail contest. And let’s not forget the killer country, bluegrass, and blues bands that’ll provide the soundtrack for your taste buds’ dance party.

Then there’s the icing on the chicken cake—unlimited rides on all of Elitch Gardens’ vertigo-inducing attractions. Because who wouldn’t want to go for a rollercoaster ride after devouring their body weight in wings?

Grab Tickets Today!


Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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